The British Museum and Samsung bring augmented reality to museum learning

The British Museum and Samsung have renewed their five-year partnership that sees a new app bring reality and the knowledge of the Web together. This is a big step out from the Digital Discovery Centre which started as a computer room 20 years ago.

The new app called A Gift for Athena means visitors, in this case Key Stage 2 studying children, can enjoy a deeper museum experience. The app, given out on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, allows kids to make a game of learning with finding different pieces of history made into challenges, slipping in learning as they go. App creators Gamar have been working for months to perfect the title, overcoming normal AR limitations or QR and pattern marker scanning to replace it with easy-to-use form recognition.

For example, we had to find certain statues from outlines and line them up, then we were rewarded with another piece of the story puzzle. There was even a handy map showing which part of the museum to visit next. We would have loved this as kids - we loved it as adults to be honest. A really great way to make learning more fun and enhance the history we already have on display.

Also part of this future is 3D printing and animation, but further plans on this were not detailed just yet. The idea is to inspire teachers as well as pupils.

Samsung is currently also working with schools to build digital classrooms including Code Club where young people can learn to use and create software. It’s also opening a digital academy to offer qualifications in tech for future careers.

Some 130,000 UK students and 250,000 international students visit the British Museum every year. The Digital Discovery Centre, which features computers, tablets, cameras and even a green screen, is on the itinerary for almost 20 per cent of all school visits each year. With the five new games available within the app that number should increase and leave each child with more knowledge to take away.

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